Make Members Matter 会员为尊
Dear Fellow Toastmasters,
I am writing this final message as the first District Director of District 80, Singapore with a heavy heart and mixed feelings.
Personally, it has been a great year for me; and I’m sure for most of us in the district for term 2015-2016 as well, much achieved and much to be proud of.
While attending club meetings and term end parties or even reading some of our members’ Facebook postings, I note that many leaders are adopting the “Make Members Matter” as a motto of their clubs. We see improvements in the members’ educational achievements this term as clubs focus in making a difference to their members using the motto that even incoming leaders use too. We share in the happiness, and are also very proud, to witness the members we helped become better communicators and leaders.
I am glad to note that District 80, Make Members Matter Facebook Group has become an active platform for members to share, connect and motivate each other. I really appreciate the sharing of information, widening the connection to each other and being able to motivate too with milestones and achievements.
The forming of Toastmasters International Singapore Ltd, which has been incorporated in 23 July 2015, was a milestone and a great achievement as I work with the Board of Directors and District Director-elect Patricia Lum DTM in making it happen. Thanks as well to the tremendous efforts of past Senior District Officers which has led to its materialisation.
Splitting the district into 11 divisions, with 54 areas all in all having 3-4 clubs each, has resulted to better care of clubs and their members. Al though having to exert more efforts for Senior District Officers working with more team leaders, we are glad that it is a workable and manageable environment having a positive objective in mind. With growing number of members, it may probably lead to the splitting of the district in the near future.
Having started as an ordinary member, I did not imagine that I will reach the pinnacle of the leadership hierarchy as a District Director serving about 5000 members in Singapore. It needs so much time and effort to play the role guided by the Toastmasters’ 4 core values of: Respect for the Individual, Integrity, Service to the Members and Dedication to Excellence.
Planning strategies, managing budget, meeting members, answering queries, giving feedbacks, providing advises, resolving issues, correcting mistakes, motivating and mentoring members and leaders, grooming future leaders, etc. have become my daily routine for the last three consecutive terms serving as part of the District Trio either as: LGM, LGET & DD. I am grateful to our members for the trust and support given to me.
Also, I am glad that some of the best practices formed when I was LGM /LGET have been continued by many leaders who are more down to earth in their care and the way they connect, listen, understand and communicate with their members. With membership base as big as our district, conflict is bound to happen and is something that I have faced which were also my biggest challenge such as discouragement and distraction activities that were diffusing to leaders and members in achieving the district mission and goals. Yes, the Toastmasters movement is also a reflection of real life and we are given this opportunity to learn and practice our leadership skill as if it we are in a corporate world setting. Amazing, isn’t it?!
Increasing membership base and club growth have always been one of the most challenging task. Notwithstanding that, I am extremely delighted that our District is on its way to Select Distinguished District based on the ongoing process of submission of new clubs until the term ends in 30 June 2016 PST; it is not official on TI Dashboard until the final update not later than 22 July 2016. Though it is not what we targeted at the beginning of the term, I strongly believe that our members, club EXCO’s, area directors, division directors and our senior district officers worked very hard to achieve the goals to the best of their abilities.
We learn through what we have experienced, and we shall carry these experiences in facing new challenges ahead. I have no regrets in the time and effort I spent as the District Director. While serving, I received many words of encouragement, praises and advises; these will certainly be very beneficial in helping me to become a better person.
In Toastmasters, you can make a difference. Seize as much opportunities in continuing to develop yourselves to be better people in your Toastmasters’ learning journey, have fun but don’t forget you can make a difference to others too.
Let’s continue to Make Members Matter! I am looking forward to another great new term ahead with “Empowering Members’ Journey” led by New District Director, Patricia Lum DTM and her team of senior district leaders.
Tay Yiang Ping 郑映屏, DTM
PROGRAM QUALITY DIRECTOR:
Hi Fellow Members,
Whilst reading this message, are you singing in the rain, basking under the sun or admiring our toastmasters constellation with her many stars? We have immense reasons to be celebratory for we have had an exciting, vibrant and successful term and you should be proud of yourselves.
During this term I visited many clubs– sharing moments with you at meetings, COT’s and speech contests. I have witnessed how you helped other members improve their public speaking skills by encouraging them to complete their projects or, how you have touched someone else’s life by motivating and inspiring them to take up the challenges of leadership roles as well as helping them along in their toastmasters experience at the same time. These are not merely my recollections of the many, magical and memorable visits but can be borne out of our sterling results for term 2015-2016.
To date, we have achieved the following stellar results: 101 ACB, 36 ACG, 46 ACS, 80 ALB, 22 ALS, 475 CC, 186 CL, 21 DTM, 35 LDREXC with 62 members earning 3+ education awards.
And not forgetting that 150 of our clubs achieved at least distinguished status which is an astonishing 72.12% of the total clubs in district 80.
During my visits, both invited and unannounced, I saw the zest, zeal and zealousness firing up the energy levels of club meetings. Our leaders, club members and even visitors have indeed gathered and gained strength in acquiring the skills and now, we celebrate the fruits of the wonderful term that was.
We need to and will continue to do more in our toastmasters journey. However, what is most remarkable about our movement is that, the more we invest our time and effort, the more we receive in return in our toastmasters’ journeys.
For now, I’d like to ask you to sing in the rain, bask under the sun and take the time to celebrate all your successes for tomorrow, we continue our journey, fired up by the year that was, we ride the comet that is the year ahead and reach for even more stars.
See you soon.
Patricia Lum, DTM
CLUB GROWTH DIRECTOR:
Hi District 80 Toastmasters,
It has been a wonderful and fulfilling year serving as your Club Growth Director. It’s yet another memorable year walking my Toastmaster journey in the company of fantastic fellowships of District 80 Toastmasters. We met at club meetings, we learn together in DLTs and COTs, we visited Capital of Ideas, we sailed across the Ocean of Possibilities, we worked to expand our network of clubs, we brought the benefits of the Toastmaster program to more people, we partied and we had so much fun together. I thank each and every one of you for your unfailing support and enormous encouragement,
What we have achieved so far, in terms of club growth and membership growth, may fall short of our goals we set for ourselves in the beginning of the term, I know we have worked hard and put in our best effort. We achieved Select Distinguished nonetheless. We are not going to stop here and we will continue our journey, an empowered journey, together.
Tay Tiam Teang, DTM
DISTRICT PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER:
Dear Fellow Toastmasters,
It is as if only yesterday that I was composing a “Heralding of a New Beginning” message and now, term 2015-2016 is about to end.
Having been with Toastmasters for exactly 6 years in a row and taking on various club and district leadership roles, I have been a part of countless endeavours that showcased the team spirit of really immersing oneself in group tasks that requires leadership and communication skills to achieve goals initially set. And it never ceases to amaze me of the countless selfless, committed and creative individuals who will be willing to join you in every specific journey, not only to achieve goals set, but to be a part of another person’s growth and development in the realm of public speaking and leadership skills.
For the current term, I helmed the District Public Relations Committee and at its onset, the committee brainstormed through various suggestions on the best way to create awareness of Toastmasters to the public and be a beacon of information dissemination from the district to its members. Thus far, for the whole term, aside from the routine editing of all communication churned out to the members and the public, the team collaborated on the following initiatives:
1) “Invest in Yourself, Transform Your Life” event at YMCA on 25 September 2015 aimed at informing the public about the benefits of joining Toastmasters
2) “What is Toastmasters” Video Competition for all clubs in the district
3) Toastmasters@ the National Library on 12 March 2016 where the team, together with some district members distributed especially customised bookmarks to the public
4) Distribution to all District 80 members the specially customised bookmarks
5) Diamond Presence and Toastmasters Awareness Awards to deserving clubs which sought to recognise the increasing importance of website/social media for the clubs’ promotional platforms
6) Newsletters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 7A
7) Honour Roll segments which featured 24 District 80 toastmasters whose memberships have been either a personal success or a source of inspiration to fellow members on a monthly basis
Those initiatives could not have come into fruition without the DPR committee members who committed their time and efforts. I am deeply grateful, honoured and thankful to: Ida, Wen Liang, Helen and Daniel in their generosity to give much of their commitment, talent and tangible/intangible resources in ensuring that we offer the best in the achievement of our goals.
I would also like to thank District Director Tay Yiang Ping DTM for the opportunity to serve the district as such and having collaborated with the rest of the SDO’s as well: PQD Patricia Lum DTM, CGD Tay Tiam Teang DTM, Administration Manager Yap Boon Liang and Finance Manager Azizah Sapari DTM with the rest of the district leaders, club officers and members… another very special and memorable milestone in my journey through life.
Lastly, I would also like to give my gratitude to my home club The Frontier Toastmasters Club (Area Z2), with its EXCO team: Max, Yamini, Anil, Derrick, Sundar, Ei Wai and Terry, the anchor on which my membership in the organisation rests, for achieving the feat of finishing strong, achieving Distinguished Club at the homestretch, our efforts have not been for naught… a true showcase of what a team spirit in Toastmasters is all about and gave so much credence to my position as a reflection of the health of my home club.
Till here everyone… and it can not be a goodbye. For as long as we are bonded by our common pursuits in Toastmasters, we herald a new beginning again of collaboration to achieve a common goal–we say HELLO to term 2016-2017.
Annabelle Fabia-de Arroz, DTM
~TOASTMASTERS: not just “Where Leaders are Made” but “Achieving Greatness Together” as well too
DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION MANAGER:
Dear Fellow Toastmasters,
I am grateful and honoured to take up the District 80’s first Administration Manager role this term. Though I faced many challenges, I am glad to be able to overcome them one by one. I thank everyone who helped me directly and indirectly.
Highlighting Two Major Challenges
My toughest assignment was producing the District Directory. It would have been smooth if every club had given me the information using the template I sent. Despite my constant reminders, the late submissions made this task bewildering too. Collating and editing the information into various pages, such as club’s EXCO list from division level, which also includes Senior District Officers and their sub-team, club meetings day, district’s full term calendar is quite overwhelming and the trickiest part is to be able to compile them together into a standard format because I received them in various different formats and fonts from the template I sent. Overall though, I’m glad the District directory was produced but in a much delayed timeline.
About DEC/DCM Report, in the first meeting reporting, the Semi Annual Conference report came in late and almost was not able to be printed on time. Luckily, the printer company did overtime work to help us.
With much appreciation, I would like to thank Eliyathamby Narasinghan DTM, Belinda Woo & Jacky Huang who gave assistance as a member of the administration team, which really lighten my workload. Thanks to all the SDO’s for their ‘togetherness’ and strong team spirit which made my job easier. It was enjoyable to have worked with them.
All the best to everyone in District 80! Stay healthy and stay active in Toastmasters.
Yap Boon Liang
DISTRICT FINANCE MANAGER:
Dear Fellow District 80 Toastmasters,
Let me share with you my journey before, during and just after my term of office as the district’s one and only Finance Manager (FM).
When I was asked by District Director Tay Yiang Ping if I could be the district’s FM for Term 2015-2016, I did not hesitate as I had always been positive in taking up roles if I have the extra time to serve others. I was mentally prepared to brace the challenges ahead. I read the TI Policies and Protocol on District Fiscal Management many times to understand TI’s governing rules and procedures on finance matters.
At the beginning of term, setting the district budget and disseminating finance procedures to the district and the divisions were a breeze as I was confident of what I had to disseminate. Processing claims, getting their approvals and issuance of reimbursements were also a breeze. What I did not realize then was the highly professional TI Financial Accounting System that I need to use. Every single purchase by the district and division has to be entered into the system with the right “Account Label” and “Reporting Code”. At every end of the month, the income and expenses have to be reconciled. I struggled with TI’s finance system and must admit that I was very frustrated during the first 3 months.
After the first quarter, I became more knowledgeable of TI’s system and able to close the district accounts, sometimes with the help of TI staff whom I have made friends with. The rest is history.
I will now have to prepare for term-end audit and I reckon my work will not be completed until end July 2016. Regardless, I wish to thank all district officers (SDOs, division directors and division FMs) who have complied strictly with the district procedures when making claims.
It has been another profound term for me in Toastmasters, a meaningful one which is full of learning as a leader to serve others. I wish everyone a blessed, beautiful and blissful journey in toastmasters! Stay connected!
Azizah Sapari DTM